|ESPN.com: NBA Playoffs 2012||[Print without images]|
“"If the Lamar thing would have worked out and if he would have played like the year before when he was the best sixth man, I think we would have had a shot," Dirk Nowitzki said of going deeper in the playoffs. "It would have given us another playmaker, another guy that's long, that can defend and rebound. "But for whatever reason the stuff he was going through off the court was just too much. He couldn't help us the way he wanted, the way we wanted, and we had to move on without him." Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Saturday in retrospect he would still have made the trade for the versatile veteran forward. "I'd do the exact same thing all over," Cuban said. "You go for it. You hit on those things sometimes, and sometimes they don't work. ... He wasn't the first player that didn't work, and he won't be the last." The defending champions were swept out of the first round of the playoffs Saturday night by the Oklahoma City Thunder and cleaned out their lockers Sunday afternoon. Odom hasn't been with the team since Cuban dismissed the forward from the team at halftime of the Mavs' game at Memphis on April 7. Cuban didn't appreciate Odom's sullen body language in the locker room, or his response to a question of whether he was in or out. Odom was placed on the inactive list and soon after returned to Los Angeles with reality TV star wife Khloe Kardashian. "I think we were hoping he would be able to come in and contribute and help us win this year, but it just didn't work out that way," Shawn Marion added. "I think it is what it is, it's (losing in the first round) not his fault and it's not nobody's, it's all our faults collectively. You can't put it on one person." The Mavs acquired Odom in a December trade from the Los Angeles Lakers, where he had played seven seasons, won two titles and the Sixth Man of the Year Award last season. Odom was upset that the Lakers had included him in a trade to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul. When that deal was quashed by NBA commissioner David Stern, Odom asked the Lakers to trade him. Odom's agent, Jeff Schwartz, reached out to the Mavs and Cuban made the deal. But Odom arrived in Dallas out of shape and reeling mentally from leaving Los Angeles and a difficult summer that included the death of a close cousin. Odom averaged career lows of 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds with the Mavericks. He shot a career-low 35.2 percent from the field and averaged just 20.5 minutes a game, by far the fewest in his 13-year career. The Mavs will attempt to trade Odom. Any team that has him on its roster as of June 29 must buy him out by that date for $2.4 million or otherwise accept responsibility for the full $8.2 million that he is scheduled to make in 2012-13.
If the Lamar thing would have worked out and if he would have played like the year before when he was the best sixth man, I think we would have had a shot. ... But for whatever reason the stuff he was going through off the court was just too much.” -- Dirk Nowitzki